So update on today. On yesterday. Ugh I don’t even knowwww my sense of time is completely nonexistent right now. But I returned to work for a partial day – and dropped Liam off for his first day of care. I scrambled for hours – filling bottles and packing lunches, and woke up beyond too early for the morning, and ultimately, did okay. I cried when we dropped him off, to the point where a little girls’ mother told me she’d felt similarly, and that I would be okay. She advised me to come a few times next week, hang out, nurse him when I could, and that he would be okay. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure how I’m going to do with a full work day yet, but more than a few people have reminded me that no decision is permanent, and that I have a decent enough skill set that I could stay, or take a break, or maybe work from home, or freelance, or whatever. Nothing is final at this point.
So, I was cleared at six weeks to exercise, which, looking back, was maybe not okay. Thankfully, I’m not training for the Olympics or appearing on a magazine cover anytime soon, so I really eased into things, and didn’t get too crazy about immediately returning to exactly what I was doing prior to having Liam.
As a side note, we really need to talk about that six-week clearance mark, but we’ll do that later. I have a lot of words on that.
Being active is really important to me. Not necessarily being in a bikini, or looking hot, but being active for the sake of a little energy boost, for the way it makes me feel, and for the fact that it makes the after-workout shower so much more rewarding, it’s really important to me. So I’ve done a little bit of everything since I’ve felt okay to do so, and I’ve slowly started building back to some level of the strength that I had, while slowly taking off the last of the weight I gained when I was pregnant with my sweet boy. Here’s what I’ve done, and how it’s felt.
I think the week I was cleared, I went for a short “run” (really, a shuffle), of just a mile, up and down the street we live on. It was ok, and very clear that I wouldn’t be running 20 miles anytime soon. Because it because pretty clear after that mile that though I could do it, that it wasn’t perfect, I’ve sort of only run once a week, and have really relied on walking with some hill intervals or repeats on days I’m looking to sweat.
One of my first workouts back was a circuit at a local studio, Core, located just outside of downtown Raleigh. Again, I tried to play it safe and smart, and modified anything that didn’t feel great. A full plank still was painful in the pubic bone region, as were mountain climbers, and instead of crunches, I did some modification on a modified plank, and worked it that way. What I really, really enjoyed was getting my heart rate up, which we did with the treadmill, some sled pushes, and some very modified burpees. This was one of the first times I found myself sore since I gave birth.
Gentle Hot Yoga
This was my first formal yoga class in a long while. This class, taught at Indigo Hot Yoga, is really nice because it’s a good workout, but the supportive and sweet instructor provided plenty of modifications, which I needed. I am really surprised by how much strength, upper body strength especially, that I lost after having the baby, and this has helped me get it back. Another unexpected benefit of this class is that the sweating and heat forces me to drink more water, and I think that, plus some love hormone gives me a little milk boost.
I took this class at the suggestion of the dietitian at work. She had a favorite instructor, one who had a wait list for her class. So I signed up four or five days in advance, and went at 6am, when I knew I could go and get back home before the baby woke up and I could feed him. The class was really good. Not a ton of cardio, and I like cardio, but the strength and toning were good, and this class actually got me pretty sore! I will be signing up for this one again, budget permitting.
I hit this old trusty class on Black Friday, and it was good. It wasn’t my favorite instructor, but she did a good enough job, and it was a decent amount of cardio after I stuffed myself at Thanksgiving. Some things still don’t feel great, so I kept the higher impact stuff, like little hops or jumps, to a minimum.
This workout was really interesting. So, I went with a few friends the Saturday morning after Thanksgiving in North Raleigh. The visit started off well enough, because I called to set up my class, and the woman that answered the phone was so friendly, that I was really excited to go. Class started at 9:30am, and they asked that as new people, we get there at 9. I was admittedly running late, and I got there at 9:10am, and I thought I’d be walking into the coach demoing moves, or a safety talk, but what I walked into was a repeat of the questions that I’d answered on the phone, and a sales pitch.
Once class started, it became clear that this would be one of the harder workouts I’ve done, and by the end, I was sweating a ton, especially since we ended with treadmill intervals. The workout was monitored with a heartrate monitor, and since I’m breastfeeding, I had to do a wrist strap, which seemed to not work for most of the class. One of the friends I was with experienced the same with her chest strap, which was disappointing. But by the end, I think it was clear to all of us that this was a really good workout, despite some of the sales pitchy weirdness at the beginning.
Here’s what was kind of off-putting.
Upon class ending, I was on a high. The coach and a desk manager person held us back in the studio, and then the manager was on us like a cheap suit to talk to us, mostly me since I was local, about packages. I made it pretty clear that I was planning on dropping in once in a while since I’m still recovering, and I still felt like I was being pushed into buying a package. I had a baby weeks ago. So I was pretty weirded out by that.
Following that, I got a phone call from the studio checking in, presumably to sell me stuff, and then I got an email after. I finally sent an email back, and explained that though the workout was great (one of the better HIIT ones I’ve done in Raleigh), that the pushiness was really quite off-putting. To which that manager replied that she was sorry, but they just wanted to inform me of their membership options. GAH. It’s like it didn’t sink in, at all. People love to be checked-on, but not sold to from 78 different angles.
That said, the workout was really good, and I will most likely visit another location, Morrisville or Wake Forest before I go to North Raleigh again. I know these guys are pretty much all over, so if you get a chance, I would try this workout out, especially since I feel like these kinds of workouts are really effective for building muscle and losing weight.
So these classes, along with the Fitbit update that encourages you to get 5 days a week of exercise in, has really helped me get my activity levels back up. Again, I’m taking it nice and easy. There’s no sense in hurting myself or my milk supply for the sake of saying I did it. Rather, it’s just really really nice, and a nice way for me to take a short break from momming at 99 mph.
How have you exercised this week?